The Reform Programme & The Hanley Report

The Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council welcomes the Health Service Reform Programme and the Hanly Report.

The Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council welcomes the Health Service Reform Programme and the Hanly Report. PHECC is a young and progressive organisation. It was established in 2000 with an agenda for change and the implementation of quality and best practice initiatives.

All of Council’s functions are important safeguards in the public interest which bring with them added responsibilities in a time of change and development of the scale of the Reform Programme and especially with what will be required to deliver what’s recommended in the Hanly Report.

The Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council is currently engaging with the Department of Health and Children with respect to spatial analysis research that has been undertaken to measure access to services, in the context of regionalisation of acute and high quality specialist services.
  The Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council welcomes;
  • the Department of Health and Children (DoHC) recognition of the important role its current initiatives have for the medium term in that proposed amendments to the PHECC. Statutory Instrument are to proceed. This will ensure that the advanced care programme launched by the Minister in March 2003 for ambulance personnel with paramedic skills can be implemented.
  • the announcement by the Minister of the inclusion of the Director of PHECC, Dr Geoff King, on the Acute Hospitals Review Group or Hanly Phase II.


What The Minister Said:

Extract of Morning Ireland interview by Mr Micheál Martin – 13th November 2003

“I think we need to make it very clear what Hanly is saying and not just Hanly it’s the medical advice based on international peer evidence review in terms of a heart attack, in terms of a major car accident. The key issue is the first contact. That first contact could be on a road, it could be on a hillside it could be wherever, in a home, and that first contact has to be in a position to try and deal with the heart attack situation by either defibrillation, mouth to mouth resuscitation, the administration of thrombolytic drugs and so forth. That’s the key intervention. The second key intervention is to get that person to the hospital where they can have the best multidisciplinary team of people available to save that persons life. Now that’s the advice I’m receiving and before we can do anything in terms of any hospital that presupposes that, we invest further in our ambulance service and we train our Emergency Medical Technicians to an advanced training level so that they are in a position to do many of these things.”


What The Chief Medical Officer Said:

Extract from Irish Independent 25th November 2003

"Chief Medical Officer of the Department of Health, Dr James Kiely, yesterday gave his endorsement to the Hanly proposals and said it “addresses all the elements needed to improve patient care”.

Asked about fears among the public about the closure of accident and emergency units, he said their first point of contact would be highly trained Emergency Medical Technicians in the ambulance service.”

What The Chairman of PHECC Said:

Extract of LM Radio interview by Mr Paul Robinson – Chairman of PHECC 10th January 2003

“One of the biggest killers in Ireland is heart attacks, is anybody saying that we should have a coronary care unit at every cross-roads in the country? To talk about people dying in the back of ambulances is to overlook the changes that are taking place in the ambulance service in the past four or five years in this country…… Ambulance Personnel – and I still get my blood up when I hear people talking about ambulance drivers, they are Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs). They are trained to a stage where they are awarded a diploma in medical technology. They’re the experts in pre-hospital emergency care. Doctors, nurses etc. work in a hospital environment where they have all the equipment available to them, where the conditions may not be ideal, but they are certainly the best that are available at that stage. Emergency Medical Technicians deal with where conditions aren’t ideal.”